5 June 2017, is being recognised across the Globe as World Environment Day (WED). World Environment Day is the United Nations flagship day observed globally to stimulate awareness of the impact of our actions and behaviours on our environment and to promote individual, community and national action towards sustainable living.
This year’s focus on “Connecting People to Nature” promotes rediscovery of a sense of adventure by finding the natural outdoor places and spaces that make one feels good about himself/herself, feel at peace with nature and promote physical wellbeing by re-connecting to the natural beauty that surrounds us wherever we are in Grenada.
Our natural environment provides key features goods and services for our enjoyment. These “cultural services” include
- recreational opportunities (eg ecotourism, outdoor sports and recreation),
- spiritual significance and historical opportunities (eg use of nature for religious or heritage experience),
- educational experience (eg schools visiting natural systems like mangrove ecosystems to learn about them) and
- therapeutic value (eg ecotherapy to ease anxiety, stress and depression while improving fitness).
These are important attributes of “nature” from which we benefit as they contribute to our livelihoods and our economy.
In Grenada, our natural environment or ecosystems are being affected by issues including
- Climate change;
- Habitat loss/conversion;
- Land degradation and loss of top soil.
These issues can affect the goods and services provided by our natural environment. To address these issues, everyone needs to play a part in the sustainable use of our environment.
Several activities have taken place in the tri-island state over the past 2 weeks commencing with International day for Biological Diversity on 22 May.
The ministry’s activities in commemoration of WED began on Monday, 22 May with the first in a series of live interviews with key partners aired on the GIS morning programme (available on YouTube), a radio quiz for school children across the tri-island state, school visits to primary and pre-primary schools and a call to community groups to plan planting and clean-up activities in collaboration with Environment Division and Forestry Division.
The Environment Division is also working with Grenada Tourism Authority to raise awareness on eco-tourism opportunities that visitors and locals alike can enjoy. Finally, in partnership with NaDMA and other key stakeholders, there will be a national clean-up campaign culminating with the minister’s address to the nation on 5 June 2017.
The key message is for everyone to become adventurous! Reconnect with the natural world around you! Visit your favourite places and re-discover the unspoilt beauty of Grenada’s natural environment.